Life After…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I don’t know about anyone else, but the first few days following Christmas are always difficult ones for me.  First of all, there’s the ‘let down’ of not having Christmas anticipation anymore.  Next, there’s the clutter that Christmas always leaves behind.  Last, there are those cold, dreary days of January to deal with!

This week has been especially cold and dreary, but I’ve kept myself busy packing away the last of the Christmas clutter!  I’m happy to say that I packed away the last piece of Christmas decor on Wednesday afternoon, and it’s a big relief to have the house back to normal again!  Of course, the house always looks empty and plain, once the decorations are put away…

The Polar Vortex has moved on, and we’re experiencing temperatures back in the high 60’s today!  It almost feels like summer, compared to the beginning of the week!  Unfortunately, it’s cloudy, dreary, and occasionally rainy outside–which makes it seem like winter, even though it doesn’t feel like winter!  These kinds of days make it hard for me to stay active or positive.

I was beginning to have a bit of ‘cabin fever’, this morning, so I made a trip to town–in the rain!  It was the first time I’ve left the house since last weekend, and it felt good to get out of the house.  It was a costly get-away though.  It cost me nearly ninety dollars to get out of the grocery store–and everything I purchased fit in the bottom of the shopping cart!  I nearly died when I had to pay $4.29 for a bottle of Heinz 57 Sauce, and $4.19 for a bottle of pickled peppers!

Speaking of Heinz 57 Sauce–our grown sons still like to remind me of how stingy I used to be with the sauce, while they were living at home 🙂  I watched the bottle like a hawk, and constantly warned them not to waste it!  After all, boys will be boys, and they don’t think about how much something costs when piling it on their plates.  I, often, had to stay after the oldest son about not eating all of the cheddar cheese, too!  These days,  he says his wife gets after him 🙂

This morning, I took the first tour of our garden, following Monday and Tuesday’s freezing temperatures.  Some plants are in really bad shape, while others have recovered nicely.  The collards, cabbage, and carrots seem to have recovered and are looking okay.  The mustard, turnips, lettuce, and cauliflower–not so much.  I can’t even begin to tell you how dead our poor cherry tomato plant is–even though we tried our best to save it.  The good news is, soon it will be time to plant a spring garden.  We could be planting potatoes, garden peas, and a second crop of carrots and greens in as little as six weeks!

The carpet guy is supposed to come tomorrow to re-stretch our living room carpeting.  We’ve been dealing with a few stray wrinkles for several months, and they need to be removed.  I’m really dreading what all of this entails…  We have a lot of very heavy furniture that will need to be removed, not to mention all of the books and decor that will have to be moved first!  I’ve already packed up two huge boxes of curios, and that’s just the beginning.  My biggest fear is that I’ll pack everything up, and the guy won’t show up!  That would be our luck.

Speaking of not showing up–a contractor was supposed to come this week to give us an estimate on building a cover for our front porch.  His wife finally called yesterday to say that he’d come down with the flu!  He’s not sure when or if he can get to us, now.  Ed and I refer to this type of situation as “Bacon Luck”.  I hope something works out for us.

At least someone in our family had some “Good Luck” this week.  Our daughter-in-law, Jennifer, got a new job!  She’ll still be working at the same hospital, but in a different department, which doesn’t require working any weekends!   Life after maternity leave will soon be beginning for Jennifer, and I wish her (and baby Evan) well with their transition.  Not working weekends should make the transition a little easier!

That’s about it for my Friday Fragments.  I’ll be linking up with Mrs. 4444 over at halfpastkissintime.  See you on Monday!

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Published in: on January 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm  Comments (11)  
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Can’t Help Falling In Love With The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

I love participating in ‘The Wednesday Hodgepodge’!  No matter how many Wednesdays come and go, it never gets old, and our hostess, Joyce, continues to provide some very interesting questions!  Check out her thought-provoking questions, along with my answers below:

1. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse or just general uselessness (go here to read more about how the words were chosen). Here are the words/phrases they’d like to see banished in 2014-

selfie, twerk/twerking, hashtag, Twittersphere, Mr. Mom, T-bone, ____on steroids, the suffixes-ageddon, and -pocalypse added to anything and everything, from the world of politics the words-intellectually/morally bankrupt and Obamacare, and from the world of sports the words-adversity and fan base

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you’d like to add?

I’d most like to see the term “Obamacare” banished from everyday speech (along with actual Obamacare!) because I’m so sick of hearing the term and wondering how ‘Obamacare’ will affect all of us, as it goes into effect!  It’s all we’ve been hearing about for the past five years…Enough! ( My second choice would have to be hashtag!  Enough with all the hashtags!)

2. What one unfinished project nags at you begging to be completed in this new year?

Leveling and landscaping our yard, now that we’ve had those forty-five trees cut down!  The ground is lumpy and bumpy, due to all of the ground up stumps, but the grass is growing and we’re working on filling in those uneven spots.  When Tim, the tree trimmer, recently returned, he couldn’t believe how much grass we have already!

Did I mention that we’re going to have to build a cover for our front porch, too?  Previously, we’d left the porch uncovered, so it was more like a deck.  Now, with no trees to offer shade, we quickly realized we’re going to need  a roof!

3. When did you last have a bowl of soup? What kind? Homemade or from a can? What’s your favorite soup?

I made Taco Soup two or three weeks ago, and we enjoyed it very much.  The week after Christmas I ate a can of chicken noodle soup, but I won’t even count that since I’m not a fan of canned soup!  My favorite soup is home-made vegetable soup–and I’d really like to have some right about now.

4. Snowed in, snowed under, snow job…which one most applies to your life in recent days, figuratively speaking.

Lately, I’ve been feeling ‘snowed under’ due to all of the Christmas boxes and clutter that have been scattered throughout house.  I’m on the final leg of the journey of packing up Christmas decorations though!

5. What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen, or at least one of the funniest?

Without a doubt, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the funniest movie I’ve ever seen.  I usually watch it every Christmas, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it this year.

6. In general, would you say you’re clumsy?

Yes, sadly, I am a bit clumsy, and the older I get, the clumsier I seem to get.  Recently, I turned over two glasses of water within one week, and, it seems like I’m always tripping over my feet.

7. Elvis Presley was born on Hodgepodge Day (January 8th) back in 1935. Are you an Elvis fan? What’s your favorite Elvis tune? If that’s too hard, which Elvis tune do you dislike the least? Click here for a list of his songs.

I’m what can best be described as a ‘mediocre’ Elvis fan.  I liked Elvis, and used to watch his movies and listen to his music, but I wasn’t infatuated like so many fans were.   That being said, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to tour Elvis’ home, ‘Graceland’ back in 2002!  My oldest favorite Elvis songs is  “I Can’t Help Falling In Love (With You)”, but “Memories” is a more recent favorite.  I’m planning to make a video montage to that song, soon.

Random:

Oh my!  As if taking down four Christmas trees and packing up three rooms full of decorations weren’t enough, the ‘carpet man’ is coming to re-stretch our living room carpet on Saturday!  (We seem to have acquired a few annoying wrinkles)  There’s nothing like having to remove all of the furniture and accessories, after you’ve just gotten the room back in order, after Christmas!

I’ve been meaning to share this photo of our little grandson, Evan.  It was taken about a month ago, when I laid him in the crib that’s filled with some of  my doll collection!   Evan sort of blended right in, and I couldn’t help but think Where’s Waldo?  The look on Evan’s face was priceless, and he didn’t appear to be amused!

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Published in: on January 8, 2014 at 9:24 am  Comments (14)  
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A Weather Report From Our ‘Neck Of The Woods’…

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I’m happy to report that we made it through our coldest night of the season!  Our thermometer reads 20 degrees, this morning, and is continuing to hold firm on that temperature.  I’m not sure we reached the predicted low of 17 degrees, but it’s very cold outside–even though the sun is shinning!

I saw, on Facebook, that some of our neighbors were without power, for a time, last evening.  Thank goodness, we didn’t have a problem with that!  We had a plan in place, just in case, though.

Our son called, very early this morning, to ask if he could come down and take a shower.  Apparently, the water at his house was almost frozen.  In our neck of the woods, we have to put some type of heat lamp beside our pumps to keep them from freezing during extreme temperature drops.  Ed spent part of the weekend scrambling around, trying to find enough heat lamps to meet our needs.  Apparently, heat lamps were in short supply, due to the weather forecast!

Our garden is frozen, this morning, as well as everything else in the yard!  As you can see from the above photo, my barrel fountain has turned into a barrel of ice!  Even the goldfish pond, in the yard, has slivers of ice on top of it, this morning!  The green house had frost on the sides of it, so I’m not sure how well the plants inside are doing.  Time will tell.

For the first time, ever, the door to the chicken coop was frozen shut!  The water supply for ‘the girls’ was also frozen solid.  I brought them a new water supply from inside, but I wonder how long it will be before it freezes, too.  When I cleaned out the chicken house, I noticed their ‘poop’ was frozen, as well! Other than being a bit on the chilly side, ‘the girls’ seem to be doing fine.

All of our other outside animals seemed to have found warm places to spend the night, and all were ready for breakfast, this morning.  The heat lamp, in the dogs’ sleeping quarters, seemed to be a popular spot, last night–for cats, as well as dogs!  It’s a good thing they all get along well!

Today isn’t supposed to rise above freezing, and tonight is supposed to dip back down to around 17 degrees, once again.  By the weekend, our temperatures should be back into the 70’s… and that’s the weather report from our neck of the woods!  Stay warm!

Published in: on January 7, 2014 at 11:02 am  Comments (7)  
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Staying Warm and Dry On Monday…

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I hope everyone had a warm and wonderful weekend, because now it’s a dreary, chilly Monday! For many, it’s the first day back to school or work, since before Christmas. I’m thankful I don’t have anywhere that I have to be, this morning, so I can join “The Monday Quiz”!

The heater’s cranking, and I’ve got a warm cup of cocoa!  I’ll be wrapping Christmas ornaments while I watch the temperatures drop throughout the day–but, first, I’m going to answer today’s questions!

Here are today’s questions:

1. It’s National Hobby Month – will you be starting a new hobby or just keeping up with current ones? What are your hobbies?

I don’t plan on starting any new hobbies, at this point in time.  I’d be happy to just have more time for my old hobbies!  My newest hobby is gardening, but some of my older hobbies include making scrapbooks, making ornaments, crocheting, embroidery, and sewing.

2. January 6th is Bean Day – what is your favorite bean? Bean recipes to share?

We eat a lot of beans at our house, but I don’t really have a favorite bean because I like them all!  The kinds of beans I cook (and eat), most often, are baked beans, green beans, or butter beans.   Ed and I grow and ‘can’ our own green beans and butter beans, since we started gardening, so we usually have plenty on hand.

Sorry, no recipes to share today.

3. Wayne got a question from a student yesterday… and we’d love your input – “I just got good news – I got a promotion into management – the problem now is that that I’ve moved to a salary position after working hourly. I used to get paid for overtime so now I make less money – what should I do?”

I’m not sure anything can be done, once a person has already agreed to move into a salary position, but I suppose he/she could occasionally take some time off [with pay] for compensation.  That’s what my husband does, if he has to work extra hours.

4. Have you ever bought a gift that you regretted giving later?

Of course, hasn’t everyone?!  Nothing particular comes to mind, but I’m sure I bought my children some kind of noisy toy, back in the day, which I regretted buying afterward!

These days, I’ll often buy a gift for someone, then have second thoughts about what I chose…  I think this comes with getting older.  For this reason, I prefer to give money, gift cards, or get gift ideas for the grandchildren from their parents.

My question for today:

Are you prepared for the cold weather that’s sweeping our nation, and how cold is it expected to get at your house?

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Weekend Recap:

Time sure flies on the weekends!  There’s always so much to be done, and so little time, but Ed and I managed to get a good bit accomplished over the weekend.

We got up early, on Saturday, and headed out to get our shopping done.  We were in Walmart by 9 a.m., and it’s located 38 miles from where we live!   We quickly observed that everyone in Walmart, on Saturday, at 9 a.m., are senior citizens!   I guess great minds think alike 🙂

We rushed back home, and the spent most of Saturday afternoon visiting with Brad, Jennifer, and baby Evan, before they left to attend a birthday party for Jennifer’s nephew.  Later, I got ‘inspired’ and cooked supper on Saturday night–fresh steamed cabbage and baked sweet potatoes from the garden, along with pork chops and cornbread!  I rarely cook on Saturday nights.

Ed and I spent the rest of the weekend preparing our pets for the cold wave that’s headed our way.  We have lots of outside animals, so we have to make sure they all have warm, dry places to stay!   We’ve added more plastic, a heat lamp, and some extra blankets to help them through the more extreme temperatures.  We’re expecting a low of about 17 degrees tonight.

Ed and I, also, managed to get all of the outside Christmas decorations taken down and packed away, over the weekend.  I am very happy about that!  On Sunday evening,  we took down the tree in the living room, too.  The tree’s safely back in the box, but the decorations aren’t!  I’ll  be working on that today, while I watch last night’s recording of “Downton Abbey’ –along with watching the temperatures drop.

Have a happy Monday, everyone…and STAY WARM!

Published in: on January 6, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments (12)  

A Few Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I should be doing at least a dozen things, other than blogging, but five years from now, who will really care?  So, here I am, posting a few Friday Fragments to link up at Half-Past Kissin Time,  instead of packing away decorations or heading to town to do errands…

Let me begin by saying, “Brrr, it’s cold outside, this morning!”  I don’t know what the morning low was, but at 8 o’clock, after the sun had begun shinning, it was still only 30 degrees.  I bundled up and went outside to feed our animals, and I found this:

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It’s hard to tell, but those are the water bowls, for our outside pets, and they’re frozen! I guess Ed left some water dripping from the hose, and the water froze in mid-stream!  Cool!

I feel a bit guilty, complaining about the cold, when I know my friends up north are having blizzards and such, but snow and ice are pretty foreign to us, here in the south.  (I’d never make it in Minnesota!)  It’s nice to see the sun shinning again, after two solid days of rain, rain, and more rain!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m in the process of packing away Christmas decorations.  It takes me a little longer to pack it all away, than it does to unpack it and decorate, because I don’t like putting it away…  I know it will be another whole year before I’ll see my decorations again, so I drag my feet a bit.  I have to savor every moment 🙂

We have no big plans for the weekend, other than continuing to pack up decorations.  I received an email from Brad’s wife, Jennifer, last evening, saying they are planning to stop by for a visit, on their way to her nephew’s birthday party, on Saturday.  She sent some photographs of baby Evan, too, and I couldn’t believe how much he’s changed since Christmas!  (He turned two months old, on December 30.)  It looks like Evan’s hair is going to end up being blonde!

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Hopefully, I’ll see our other two grandsons this weekend, too.  They’ve had sickness in their household, this week, so I haven’t seen them in a while either!

 Chase, the younger of the two, celebrated a birthday on December 27th.  He’s now officially two!  Time is passing quickly…

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I’m really enjoying sitting here, enjoying the warmth and glow of the fake fire in the media console, but I really need to get up and get moving.  Like I just said, “Time is passing quickly.”   I hope everyone has a warm and wonderful weekend. Bundle up!  See you on Monday.

 

Published in: on January 3, 2014 at 11:25 am  Comments (9)  
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And A Happy New Year’s Hodgepodge To You…

1. Times Square is the setting for the infamous ball drop signaling a brand new year….when did you last ‘drop the ball’ on something?

The first thing that comes to mind is an incident that happened just two days before Christmas.  I hadn’t made Christmas candy in two years, and apparently chocolate chips are [now] different from how they used to be.  I couldn’t get the chocolate chips to melt and become thin (for dipping) like they used to do!  I added the same amount of paraffin, as usual, but the chips were still thick and clumpy.  I wasn’t sure what to do about this, so I finally added a small amount of water to the melted chips.  This turned out to be a big NO NO because the chocolate wouldn’t stick to the balls after I added the water!  I later learned that I needed to add vegetable oil or shortening to thin the melted chocolate chips, which I did for the second batch.

2. What is one thing you resolved to do in 2013 that you actually did?

Eat less sugar!

3. Jack London is quoted as saying, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Agree or disagree? Why?

It’s hard for me to do much of anything without waiting for a little inspiration, so I’m going to  disagree.  My inspiration comes from lots of places, but I don’t recall ever going out and searching for it, at least, not on purpose.

4. What was the best thing you ate in 2013?

The DQ banana split that my daughter surprised me with during the summer!  She bought it and brought it home to me, and I wasn’t about to let it go to waste!  It had been around 7 or 8 months since I’d had a banana split (due to sugar restrictions), but I ate the whole thing–and enjoyed every bite 🙂  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder!

5. Share an anti-resolution…that is, something you plan to keep on doing in the new year.

From this day forward, I plan to try  “living for the moment”.  I’m notorious for worrying about tomorrow, or looking back at yesterday.  I’m going to try my best to break those old habits, and simply enjoy today.

6. The Pantone color of the year for 2014 is radiant orchid. Like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either?

Radiant orchid is a pretty color, but it’s not really one of my favorites.  I definitely wouldn’t add this color to my home, since it would clash with our decor, but I wouldn’t  completely rule out wearing it.

7. In three words or less sum up your 2013.

Filled with surprises.

Random:

Happy New Year, everyone!

Ed and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at home.  Actually, we spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at our ‘former home’, which is now our daughter’s home.  We joined our daughter and her family for a little impromptu New Year’s Eve Party which consisted of opening a bag every hour to discover what activity they were supposed to do for the next hour.  We made New Years Eve Party hats, then modeled them for the camera, watched a movie [Despicable Me], ate ice cream sundaes (at 9 p.m!), and played some Wii bowling.  What a simple, but fun evening!  Ed and I left the party about 10:30, so I’m not sure what other activities we missed!  We were both sound asleep well before midnight!  Kudos to our daughter, Brandy, for finding a  fun way to celebrate New Years Eve, in a family way, at home!

Published in: on January 1, 2014 at 9:41 am  Comments (9)  
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